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Bucks County 911 System Restored After 9-Day Outage

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Officials stressed that at no time was the ability to make 911 calls interrupted as a result of the outage, which was caused by a ransomware attack that remains under investigation.

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The Bucks County Department of Emergency Communications has confirmed that its computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems are back up and running after a nine-day outage.

The systems support the 911 system in the county, which officials stressed was never unavailable.

“At no point during the outage were the County’s 911 call-taking abilities interrupted,” they said.

According to a county-issued statement, the CAD system was brought back online on Tuesday afternoon, allowing emergency telecommunicators to once again use the automated system.

The outage was caused by a ransomware attack which brought the entire system offline on Jan. 21. Dispatchers continued taking calls, however, and relied on various backup systems to document them.

“We here at Emergency Services cannot say enough about the kindness, professionalism and patience our first responder community has extended to us during this outage–especially to our 911 dispatchers who have been working extra hard,” said Emergency Services Director Audrey Kenny. “With some of the weight lifted from our dispatchers, we now look forward to working with our partner agencies to restore their full access to these critical tools as quickly and safely as we possibly can.”

The county said it will continue to monitor the system for any additional threats or technical issues. Although no timeline for a full restoration of the CAD system has been established, the statement said Emergency Communications and Information Technology departments are working toward that goal.

With the restoration of core functionality on Tuesday, the county said it was able to restore connectivity to state and federal databases containing criminal justice information.

This local news story was reported with generative AI assistance.

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